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Wayas, Babalola, others canvass for protection of rights of vehicle owners in Nigeria

Written By Idoma Television on Friday, December 18, 2015 | 3:05:00 AM

By Yemi Itodo 

 Nigerian vehicle owners converged in their numbers on Thursday in Abuja under the aegis of Vehicle Owners Association of Nigeria VOAN, to brainstorm on the new regime of improved transportation system, vehicle owners welfare, easy vehicle ownership strategies and how to curb human rights abuses against vehicle owners in Nigeria. 

 The event which was first of its kind attracted Lawmakers, top government functionaries, traditional rulers, captains of industries, celebrities, corporate bodies as well as stakeholders in automobile and transportation sector. Delivering his keynote address, a foremost Human Rights Crusader and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Chief Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) charged the audience to be law abiding and observe all the traffic rules and signs while driving, especially on a busy road. 

He also bemoaned the excessive abuse of human rights against vehicle owners and condemned the act of setting vehicles ablaze and assaulting the owners, "for killing domestic animals that strayed unto the highway by communities living along major highways in Nigeria".

 Earlier in his welcome address, the National President of Vehicle Owners Association of Nigeria (VOAN), Amb. Hon. Odo Vincent Okoko said the launching of the association was timely as it would help to promote unity and welfare of vehicle owners and those in the automobile and transport sector. "With the coming of VOAN, we shall ensure safe motoring culture and practice in Nigeria through advocacy and collaborations with relevant government agencies and other NGOs", Amb. Odo added.

 In his remark, former Senate President and Chairman of the epoch making event, Senator (Dr). Joseph Wayas commended the Board of Trustees and National Executive Council of VOAN for coming together as patriotic Nigerians and expressed optimism that in the long run, the association would create employment for young Nigerians as well as adding value to the social-economic well being of the populace. 

"Today, I look back with nostalgia when we muted the idea and formed the Directorate of Road Traffic Services or what we called VIO back then during the second republic. Considering the achievements recorded so far by the service, I feel vindicated and fulfilled been the key person that insisted on the formation of the VIO as the then Senate President of our dear country", Senator Wayas said. 

While inaugurating the association, the former Senate President also used the occasion to appeal to the government of the day to work with and support VOAN for "national growth and development". The inaugural session which was held at the Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Centre Auditorium was also used to drum support for the passage of a bill on 'Concessionary Nigerian Citizenship for Artistic, Scientific and Technological Skilled African Descendants with single citizenship outside Africa and Madagascar Bill 2016' at the National Assembly. 

Highlights of the event include presentation of 'Best Dealer and Auto Vendor of the year Award' to Kefiano Motors; the 'Best Auto Brand of the year Award' to Kia Motors; the 'Best Auto Insurance Company of the year Award' to Universal Insurance PLC; the 'Best Auto Finance Bank of the year Award' to Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC and the decoration of one of the Nigerian foremost Hip Hop Artistes, Imelda Jane Okwori (Imelda J) as the 'Queen of the Wheels' for the year 2015/2016 and the 'Association's Celebrity Ambassador'. 

Members of the National Executive Committee of VOAN inaugurated include Amb. Hon. Odo Vincent Okoko as National President; Air Commodore Danjuma J. Otaru as Vice President and Comrade Mankinde Vincent Olawole as National Secretary. Others include Prof. Jide Ayenibiowo as Chief Legal Coordinator; Chief Igwe Lawrence Okoh as National Treasurer; Barrister Tolu Babaleye as National PRO; Mrs. J. Edjeren as Head, Diaspora Office, USA and Alhaji Idris Musa (Emir of Jiwa) as Patron.
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